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The dung-chen is a trumpet associated with the monastic traditions of Tibetan Bhuddism. It is used for morning and evening calls from the roofs of monasteries, normally heard in pairs, which often alternate with the rgya-gling, a large conical oboe also well suited to outdoor playing. The length of the dung-chen makes it most suitable for performing low drone notes, and Tibetan performance traditions usually centre on the three lowest available pitches. Players do not usually aim for an even tone, but concentrate more on the articulation of the beginnings and endings of notes. These are often specific to individual monasteries, where they are recorded in notated repertoires known as dung-tshig.

See full details Description

Dung-chen, long trumpet, one of a pair with Horniman Museum number: 1975.258. The conical copper tube is in three joints which can be collapsed telescopically. The ferrules, mouth pipe and mouthpiece are of brass. There are decorative ferrules around sockets of the lower two joints, mid-way along the bell joint and around the bell rim. There are two red fabric bands, one on the top joint and one on the middle joint. The seams are visible along undersides of the lower two joints. A small metal shield is attached near the bell with a ringlet attached. The integral mouthpiece has a flat rim, the cup being slightly curved.


dung-chen; trumpet
US 563
Musical Instruments

1 item (description level: whole)

423.121.12 End-blown straight labrosone with mouthpiece
Broad category
Musical Instruments, Aerophone
Additional names, titles, or classifications
catalogue name:  dung-chen; trumpet
object name (Horniman Ethno.):  dung-chen
object name (Horniman Ethno.):  trumpet
catalogue title:  423.121.12 End-blown straight labrosone with mouthpiece
classified as:  423.121.12

Tibet, East Asia; Asia
Additional place information
made:  Tibet 
Date made
19th century
Additional date information
date made:  19th century 
date made:  1801-1900 

Materials & techniques
copper alloy; textile; stitching
Additional material & technique information
material: copper alloy (overall)
technique: textile (overall)
technique: stitching (overall)
overall: 1765 x 112 mm
Additional measurement information
overall: 1765 x 112 mm

Related objects
whistle; duct flute (object-14619)
Related subjects
object name (Horniman Ethno.): trumpets
object name: dung-chens
technique: stitching
material: copper alloy
technique: textile
classified as: 423.121.12 End-blown straight labrosones with mouthpiece

Record created 1999-12-26 by GHAGUE
Record last updated 2017-10-23 by XGVIEWS